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Some historic sound clips are now available for downloading and playing on your computer.  You may either click on a picture to activate your computer's default audio player to hear now, or save the file for later playing.  These are MP3 files. 

To Save:
Right click on photo of desired file.
Choose 'Save Target As'.
In 'save as' box, save to desktop (can move later).
Click 'Save'


Both of the following files are from a recording by Kenneth L. Bird, made at Bloomington, IL on May 12, 1970.

 

Hear the departure of #4, The Limited, as it heads across the Washington Street crossing.  (361 kb)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The distinctive blast of an Alco horn is heard here, as an unidentified switcher removes a mail car from #4. (66 kb)

 

 

 

 

 


GM&OHS member Steve Eckert has provided a little background on the creation of his videos which may be viewed on YouTube (see links below).  The Society's website isn't equipped with streaming video, but for anyone wishing to download the first of Steve's clips to their own computer, right-clicking on the photo at left will do the trick (see audio instructions at the top of this page).  The file size is large at 11 MB, so allow for the time needed to transfer.

Growing up along the GM&O main at milepost 631 in Columbia, IL, I was saddened in late 1984 to read in the Columbia Star that the ICG had successfully petitioned the line for abandonment.  Home video cameras were just becoming available; the news was justification for a purchase.  What a perfect way to preserve some sites and sounds of the railroad (and some childhood memories).

Tuesday morning, February 26, 1985 was a warm, partly sunny day that was perfect for my first attempt at videoing a train.  For years the line’s only routine train was a daily local originating at Venice, IL.  It usually made its way past our backyard around 10:30am.  I set up early and waited for the usual orange and white geep to lead its short train past.  Right on time a headlight popped into view from over a half mile away.  Did I see nose stripes?  As the train got a little closer I confirmed my luck; a black and white was in charge.  Within moments I noticed a second unit; also a black and white.  What unbelievable luck!  For the first time in years I was witnessing a pure-GM&O lash up.  Concentrating as well as I could, I kept the camera focused on the locos as they passed.  I rushed to my car and headed south as fast as possible catching the train at the Waterloo depot, then across some open farmland, and finally just south of Burksville less than a mile from the site of the infamous 1966 head-on collision.  An edited version of this footage is available on a YouTube video titled ICG Sparta Sub, 1985 (Part 1):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErK1wX9fRnk

For two weeks I kept a careful eye on the local hoping for additional GM&O power but came up empty.  Then one evening I noticed the local returning toward Venice with two units up front, the trailing one a GM&O GP30.  Hoping the ICG would assign the same power south the following day (as they often did) I set up the next morning.  My hunch was correct; the same GP30 showed up in the lead.  I followed the train several miles south, videoing along the way.  This footage is available on a YouTube video titled ICG Sparta Sub, 1985 (Part 2):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cW5UXaTeG7g

I never again saw a train with GM&O power up front; however, I was very fortunate to capture two loaded coal extras later that summer, just weeks before the line was abandoned.  Both were southbound, destined for the power plant at Baldwin.  The first train was led by three SD units, one an ex-GM&O unit in orange and white.  The second train was led by four Paducah-rebuilt geeps, all in ICG paint.  It was the last coal train over the line.  I followed both trains south, shooting video and feeling very nostalgic; it was nice to see the line hosting heavy tonnage once again as it was built to do decades earlier.  These coal trains, along with various shots of ICG-powered locals, are available on a YouTube video titled ICG Sparta Sub, 1985 (Part 3 of 3):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jn5UqO_lfno

 

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This page was last updated on 8 January 2015